Monday, March 30, 2009

Long Beans With Tofu In Red Curry Sauce

I always seem to have a batch of this spice paste on hand. I usually make a large batch of it on weekends and store it the freezer. This is to ensure that whenever the craving for something spicy hits, all I have to do is reach in the freezer for a fix! I have been using this paste for stir fries and the following recipe is one that I have already made a few times in the past few weeks .

This versatile Thai red curry paste is easier to make than you think. Galangal ( also known as blue ginger), kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass makes it an aromatic spice mix. You could also use fresh red chillies if you are able to find them. I have always used dried chillies in making my spice paste. A large packet of dried chillies always seem to find its way into my suitcase every time I return from Malaysia :)

Thai Red Curry Paste
You could omit the shrimp paste to make this vegetarian.

3 medium sized shallots
9 dried chillies - soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic
1 lemongrass stalks
1 kaffir lime leaf or zest of one lime
1 inch galangal ( optional)/1 inch ginger
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp salt
1 Tb oil
1 tsp sugar - optional

Blend all ingredients into a paste in a mortar and pestle. If using a blender, added 1/3 cup of water to keep the blades running. Use as needed and freeze the rest. The following recipe only needs 1 tablespoon of the spicy paste.

Long Beans With Tofu In Red Curry Sauce
The tofu that I have used here comes in a block. Shallow fry it, cool before thickly slicing the block.

2 Tb vegetable oil plus oil for frying tofu
10 oz firm tofu ( fried and sliced thickly)
1 Tb red curry paste
8 oz long beans - cut into 2 inches ( around 2 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp sugar
1 Tb roasted nuts - roughly chopped
1 kaffir lime leaf - thinly sliced or grated zest of 1 lime.
salt to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium high heat and saute minced garlic . The garlic will immediately turn golden brown, add in curry paste and stir well. Add the rest of the ingredients to the spice paste mix. Saute until vegetables are cooked to your preference. I like my vegetables to be half cooked and this usually takes around 2 minutes. Stir briefly, adjust seasonings and serve with steamed rice. Makes 4 generous servings.


tigerfish said...

Love the spices used :)

doggybloggy said...

wow this looks and sound excellent!

miss v said...

this looks like a weekend recipe when i have more time, but i can't wait. i love any sauce or paste with chilies!

Debbie said...

Oh do those spices sound good...looks great!

zerrin said...

Thank you for the recipe of that paste. I love all the flavors in it, I can try it for many dishes.

Esi said...

This sounds so tasty. I love spice so this is right up my alley!

Valisa said...

Looks yummy Maya, will try it!
I have the same tendency to make a large batch of spice paste and freeze/chill. I make them everytime i come back from my asian store expedition. I find it so handy.
LOL @ large pack of dry chillies. I do the same thing. Here you can't seem to gage the heat of the dry chillies sometimes it is soo ot it is impossible to use more than one (when you need like 20) sometimes it is so sweet you might as well use the sweet paprika powder ;-)
But been lucky for the past 2 years with fresh chillies in summer - I get to dry my own chillies and they are about just right heatwise ;-)

Cynthia said...

Long beans is one of those veggies that I can eat daily. I like your combo and that is a very attractive photograph.

Tangled Noodle said...

This is great! I usually resort to buying a jar but your recipe really does look easy to make. I love its versatility but the dish you present here looks marvelous!

Little Bear's Kitchen said...

Wow, this recipe looks delicious! I love dishes with Thai curry. I'm going to bookmark this and try it out in the near future. :)

Lo said...

This looks like my kind of curry dish. The long beans... the tofu... all favorites. Not to mention that spice combination. Truly YUM.

Maya said...

tigerfish - yes, all the rempah gives it a rounded flavour.
doggybloggy - thanks!

miss v - I try to make stuff in the weekends and freeze the extras.

Debbie - thanks!
Zerrin - It is a versatile paste.I have used it in stir fries.

Esi - This is the paste for you!

Valisa - I usually freeze the chilies from my garden. It is a great idea to dry them instead.

Cynthia- A lovely comment coming from you :)

little bear's kitchen - let me know how it turns out!

lo - I hoarded the leftovers ;)

Kevin said...

That looks good. I like making my own curry pastes.

Jo said...

I've already fallen in love. This is an absolutely wonderful dish and can probably just have this with some rice.

gilda said...

I love all the ingredients in this dish! This is making me hungry!